It’s Conference Committee Time — Again


House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Crawford tells the House that work begins at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday on the budget conference committee, that those involved should be prepared to work each day through Sunday, possibly "morning, noon and evening" in the attempt to have a compromise ready by next Monday.

Those words came after, on a voice vote, the House dissented on the Senate budget that was passed earlier in the afternoon. But even that involved a few theatrics.

House Minority Leader Brian Bosma urged opposition to the dissent motion, saying, "It’s time to end the per-diem, end the travel, end the hotel expenses; end the misery for taxpayers, for employees wondering if the state will shut down. It’s time for all that to end."

Democrat Russ Stilwell countered that he wasn’t going to rely on "blind faith" in going along with a Senate proposal that passed three hours earlier. Plenty of shouts from the floor even prompted Speaker Pat Bauer to call for a little decorum.

Crawford and Jeff Espich are the House conferees. Advisors on the Dem side are Goodin, Pelath, Avery and Welch; for the Republicans, Turner, Thompson and Borror. On the Senate side, Luke Kenley and John Broden are the conferees; offering their guidance will be Republicans Hershman, Dillon, Lubbers and Senate Pro Tem Long; Tallian, Hume and Skinner for the Dems.

The clock is ticking. Seven days and counting.

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